There is a dying that leads to life, to God who is the God of the living and not the dead. This death is the dying that occurs IN THE LORD from this moment on (Steve Farrar).
YLT Gen 2:17, “and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it — dying thou dost die.” That’s exactly what happened in Gen 3 when Satan approached the woman and questioned God’s instruction and integrity by saying: ”Dying, ye do not die”(YLT). In The Voice it says: “God is playing games with you. Vs. 5 The truth is that God knows the day you eat the fruit from that tree you will awaken something powerful in you and become like Him: possessing knowledge of both good and evil”. By listening to Satan with the result of eating the fruit, thereby giving over their allegiance to satan; their eyes opened to a reality previously unknown, they sensed their vulnerability and rushed to hide their nakedness. The onset of the dying process(ess) had started for all humanity and creation. “The world of creation cannot as yet see reality- yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21 JB Philips translation)! In the meantime we can all experience, in this world, periods of dying, for example: moving to a different location far away from family and friends, losing your job, dying to your own wrong thinking. Or even sitting in the hospital next to the bed of a loved one who is dying. How do we deal with these issues?
‘Facing ‘pressure times’ the way we often do, makes us sigh with longing to exchange the earthly body with the permanent splendour of the heavenly body. In the meantime, whatever challenges we are facing now, we know that we shall never be found wanting because our identity is in Christ. We know that every evidence of death, even in our bodies, will dissolve into life even though it might feel at times that we are merely reduced to flesh; our greater reality is that we are entwined with the Lord’ (based on 2 Cor. 5:2-8, paraphrased from the Mirror Translation).
So what happens when this existence ends? Well, the body ceases to have a life force, it returns to its constituent physical elements, as does all ‘living’ entities, whether human, animal, plant, bacterial or other. Thus we say ‘dust to dust, ashes to ashes’. And according to Ecclesiastes 12:7 our life-giving spirit returns to God (“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it”), which we can assume also holds true for all other living entities. But what happens to our quintessence – our soul?